Peck Slip Students Take Their Talents to the Stage at Annual Variety Show

Among the 136 students who performed in "Small World Big Stars" were, from left, Charlie Litner, Jon Liu and Kelsey Turner. Photos: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Feb. 14, 2017

There were the jokesters, the dancers and musicians, the gymnasts, singers and magicians. And then there was the kid who could do really weird things with his tongue. All were part of “Small World Big Stars,” the Peck Slip School’s third annual variety show, performed on Saturday and featuring 136 children in 46 acts before an adoring, standing-room-only audience in the school’s gymnasium/auditorium.

And, without a single rehearsal, there was not a hitch.

Emily Hellstrom and Amanda Byron Zink shared the no-easy-feat of stage directing the PTA-sponsored kindergarten through 4th grade production. But the rewards, they say, go beyond the entertaining acts and sense of a job well done.

“It almost brings a little tear to my eye,” said Hellstrom, who is co-president of the PTA, “because there are kids who are not the most popular or the fastest runner or the tallest. But everybody has something to give and there’s a moment of that for everybody.”

Stage manager Stacey Vaseur devotes hours to the show even though her son is not in it. “It’s really fun for the kids to see their peers perform,” she said. “This is something I want to do because it’s the one event of the year that’s just for the kids.”

Zink agreed. “The secret to the success is the kids’ enthusiasm and participation. Once the show begins they can’t get enough of it. They love to watch their peers, their friends performing.”

And before the show begins?

“We hold our breath and cross our fingers,” Zink said. “Emily and I give each other the look and then say, “Let’s roll.”